Préaris, Vliegende Paard Brouwers, burst onto the Belgian beer scene in 2011 when they won a prestigious home brewing competition with their Préaris Quadrupel. This competition featured brewmaster judges from Orval and Duboisson who named the Préaris Quad as best home-brewed beer in Belgium. This victory inspired Andy Dewilde to begin producing his beer commercially. Like other homebrewers turned professional brewer, Andy had to get his beer made in a larger brewery than his home setup. For the meantime, Préaris beers will be produced by the famous Proefbrewery.
Andy’s fortunes in the beer world continued to rise when he met Christine Celis, daughter of the renowned Pierre Celis, who encouraged him to export to the United States. She introduced him to and his beer to an importer she worked for as a beer liaison: Authentic Beverage Management. A year after turning pro, Préaris beers were available in the US. Currently, Préaris’s lineup includes their original Quad, a 6% Blonde ale, a Belgian IPA, and a barrel-aged version of their Quad known as Grand Cru.
The 2012 version of their Grand Cru has been aged in Remy Martin Cognac barrels for 10 months.
Appearance: Murky brown, tan head, great retention.
Aroma: Cognac, chocolate, toffee, candied pecans, hard wood, perfumey notes.
Taste: Cognac richness, black olives, wood tannins, white pepper in the finish.
Overall Impression: There is almost no hint of the high alcohol it’s so well blended. It’s both balanced and highly drinkable, which are two words you don’t often use when describing a barrel-aged quadrupel ale! This beer is so easy to drink, it would be dangerous if you had access to a lot of it. It’s really outstanding. What I liked about it best was how uniquely European it tasted. The base quad flavors are much more subtle than many American interpretations, then you add in a classic European liquor flavor with Cognac barrels. The result is a subtle, complex, flavorful, and fantastic beer. I really which I had a lot more of this to keep around. Word is, the 2013 Grand Cru will be a cross-Atlantic venture using Maker’s Mark barrels. Best of all, it will be imported to the US.
Availability: Highly limited in Belgium. Limited to 2,425 total bottles. Préaris beers are imported by Authentic Beverage Management.
Note: This beer was sent to me by my friend and Belgian Beer Blogger, Belgian Beer Geek.
Note: Bottle No. 001098